Road King or Astatic: Which is Best?
This question is asked about a dozen times a day. Some drivers will come in and have a bad microphone. I suggest replacing it. I always recommend a noise canceling microphone. Why? Because a noise canceling microphone gives cleaner audio to the radio. Cleaner audio in is cleaner audio out. It is our goal to hear clearly when we need directions.
You can always tell when a driver is using a noise canceling microphone. You can tell by what you don't hear. You don't hear his stereo or any other cab noise when he keys up his radio. (Before I get in trouble, "he" is interchangeable with "she.") A noise canceling microphone only picks up sounds directly in front of it. So, all other noises are not transmitted. As in the dog barking, your wife instructing you on the proper way to drive...
Now, which on is better? Several factors determine which is better. The kind of radio is number one. If you are using a basic CB radio that has not been peaked and tuned, stick with the stock microphone. A noise canceling microphone has reduced audio to the radio so it will make you sound distant and far off. "Out in the weeds" is a common expression. If your basic CB radio has been peaked and tuned, the Road King is an excellent choice. It will work just fine for these radios.
For 10-meter amateur radios that have been converted to CB channels, either a Road King or an Astatic 636L would be a good choice. For the new generation of super modulated radios, the Astatic is actually a better choice. These would be the Northpoint and the Magnum S series radios.
The final factor is, which feels good in your hands? Some people feel that Astatic's tear drop shape makes it difficult to handle. Others feel that the rounded case of the Road King with the thumb button makes it difficult to handle.
Which is best? They are both great. Whichever one you like will work best for you.
Written By: Stan Wells